Virtual Reality / VR starts to make a splash in the health industry
While Virtual Reality has become a household term in the last few years, its roots can be traced back to the Sensorama in 1962. This cutting-edge-at-the-time machine allowed the viewer to sit in front of a machine and enter ‘an alternative existence,’ experiencing sight, sound, smell and touch. This same inventor went on to patent a mask that aimed to create the same Sensorama experience, but on a smaller, more personalized scale.
Over the decades that followed, VR picked up speed in the aviation and medical fields where pilots and physicians could train in a more relaxed and safer setting, but due to expense, VR failed to make the jump to the mainstream.
As technology progressed and prices became more accessible, the video game industry started incorporating VR, with Nintendo offering goggles and the exciting-at-the-time-but-now-primitive Power Glove. Not to miss out, Hollywood jumped on the virtual bandwagon, releasing, among many others, TRON, Total Recall and the amazingly bad Lawnmower Man 2.
While VR took a bit of a hiatus from the cultural zeitgeist in the 90s and 2000s, nerds were busy working behind the scenes to beef up what we see today.
Got your attention? Just like the porn industry catapulted sales of VHS and DVDs, it has also been at the forefront of the Internet (and its streaming capabilities). Think what you will about pornography, but the technology you are reading this article on was probably improved because of it. So it’s no surprise then, that the porn industry was an early adopter of VR and has championed its technological advancement from large-scale to small-screen.
VR and Your Health
According to Forbes, more than $3 billion was invested in the VR market in 2017, with a significant chunk devoted to the fitness industry (like the Stealth Core Trainer, a planking gaming app new to La Jolla Sports Club). If you’ve wanted more ways to spice up your workouts, what about a trainer-inspired boxing routine / dancing with dragons until you sweat / playing tennis at Wimbledon / skiing in the Alps? Yes, you now have those options with VR, and while we would miss you here at La Jolla Sports Club, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to go deep-sea diving in your living room.
While these personal headsets are taking off, other companies are opting for the bigger-is-better motif. Black Box VR created a dynamic resistance machine (think: cables) that pairs with VR. According to the Forbes article:
When the user completes a rep, it triggers an action in the gaming element the user sees through the Hive VR headset (i.e., launching a fireball to defend your base). For example, when a user grabs a handle to do chest press movement, it will be the resistance that’s specific to the user’s strength level and fitness goals. Each full body workout is designed to make the user feel as if they’re playing a futuristic sport, and getting a workout.
Black Box VR is still in beta, but expect to see more and more of these options popping up to appeal to the fitness-is-boring crowd, which obviously doesn’t include you, La Jolla Sports Club members!
OK, we’re done for today, have a great couple of weeks and remember to DRINK LOTS OF WATER!
// Your La Jolla Sports Club team